Nationalist party makes pitch to English speakers

The National Alliance, the right-of-center political force (technically an alliance of several smaller parties but to all intents and purposes a party itself) that is part of Latvia's ruling coalition, has produced a film with English subtitles.

Beginning with a procession of flaming torches and proceeding through reflections on Latvia's history from various of the party's leading lights, it concentrates on the significance of the Freedom Monument in central Riga before moving on to other matters of historical importance.

Titled "Latwis" - an archaic word for "Latvian" - the film describes itself thus:

Since ancient times, there have always been people in our nation who have opposed overpowering attempts to annihilate the Latvian state and Latvians. They have protected the nation's core. This is a movie about values that have endured the transient, changing circumstances throughout generations, and the foundations of our nation and the mission of the National Alliance.

At the end of the film it is revealed that this statement is actually a quotation attributed to an unnamed "Singer from Pērkons". Pērkons is a Latvian rock band.

LSM does not endorse any political party and the film is clearly intended to promote the National Alliance. However we felt the film was worth including on our news site as it is unusual for a Latvian party to make an overt attempt to communicate with the English-speaking audience. 

Some of the snatches of archive footage, including of former President Karlis Ulmanis, are interesting, but there also appears to be some staged 'archive' footage such as a black and white announcement that "The first Latvian song festival has been completed!" That took place in 1873, long before the invention of film, let lone film with a soundtrack.

It becomes more of a political ad as it progresses with politician Raivis Dzintars saying Latvia can outperform the superpowers when it comes to "our precision and high quality."

The film concludes with Saeima speaker Inara Murniece smiling:

"A day will come when the President of Latvia will be chosen from the National Alliance."

The standard of subtitling is very good, but unfortunately the final frame declaring "God bles Latvia" contains a spelling mistake. 

The National Alliance even took the unusual step of tweeting in English about the film.


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